13 Apr 2015

Medals 'unlikely' to be found

8:38 pm on 13 April 2015

An organisation dealing with historical war medals doubts a box of stolen Gallipoli medals will be found.

stolen war medals

Photo: Supplied

The six medals, six additional miniature medals, a Gallipoli badge and ribbon bar were stolen while in the post from Melbourne to Dunedin.

But when the package arrived all that was left inside the package were some service records and photographs.

Police in Australia said the package was tampered with and the medals were taken in transit. They said that the medals had originally belonged to a New Zealand man who served at Gallipoli.

TradeMe said it did not check listings for stolen goods but relies on victims to recognise them and tell the police.

It currently has nearly a thousand listings for war medals and memorabilia.

A spokesperson, Jon Duffy, said anyone can list an item on the site without a security check, but said that Trade Me receives an average of 2000 requests for information from the police a year, half relating to stolen goods.

The Returned and Services Association is trying to track down their original owner.

The national RSA president, B J Clark, said he hoped the thief will have a pang of conscience and drop the stolen items at a police station or office.

He said the RSA would like to offer support to the person who bought the medals.

The founder of Medals Reunited New Zealand, Ian Martyn, said these medals would be worth more to the family than a collector, and he doubted they would be recovered.

He added that they could be worth thousands of dollars.

Mr Martyn said the theft of medals in transit casted serious doubt on the integrity of postal services.

Police in Australia are waiting for log books from New Zealand and Australian Post so an investigation can get underway.

Senior Sergeant Steven Wood said it depended on whether the two postal services themselves or contractors handled the parcel.

He says the Victorian police requested log books from Australia Post a week ago and are hoping to have a list of people to question this week.

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